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HUD: Households earning $117,000 a year now considered 'low income' in this city

A new HUD report shows that $117,400 in annual income for a family of four is considered "low income" in San Francisco. Low income for a one-person household is at $82,200 in three California counties. (Image source: YouTube screencap)

According to the U.S .Department of Housing and Urban Development, $117,400 in annual income for a family of four is considered "low income" in San Francisco.

Umm. Explain.

It's no secret that the cost of living in San Francisco has skyrocketed over the years, but the latest HUD stats are raising eyebrows across the country.

In the department's most recent annual assessment of income limits for determining the need for assistance like public housing and Section 8 vouchers, the low-income limit for three Bay Area counties is now at $117,400 for a four-person household.

Low income for a one-person household is at $82,200 in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties in California, with the median home price sitting at $935,000.

The director of the San Mateo County Department of Housing, Ken Cole, said, "That kind of shocks you. How is that possibly poverty by anybody's measure? But it actually is for a family of four in our area."

Say what?

Cole says that he believes the continued rise in housing prices shows that lower-income people have already been priced out of the market. As experts blame the housing shortage on the area's booming tech industries, there's no sign of a slow down in rates for rent or real estate purchases.

And current residents are resistant to any initiatives that could increase traffic congestion or take away from green space, but Cole says there will need to be some sort of compromise.

"You're going to have to trade off higher-cost housing for it in this area," he added. "And you're gonna have to put up with people sleeping on the sidewalk."

With many service workers leaving the city due to the high cost of living, employers are finding ways to be innovative and do more with less. San Francisco's stringent labor laws and the $15 minimum wage increase put an added burden on business owners, who are finding strategies to be more efficient, since lower-income workers are becoming more and more difficult to find.

Restaurants are adjusting its models to provide more counter service in order to reduce the need for wait staff, and some have even begun putting customers to work so that they can keep labor costs at bay.

As one restauranteur told The New York Times: "I enjoy doing what I do, and we support a community of people here. But the economics are pretty rotten."

 

One last thing…
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